Wines are divided into six major categories; red wines , white wines, sparkling wines, dessert wines, fortified wines and rose wines These categories differ in terms of grapes used, the region and the climate from where the grapes are grown, the soil conditions, the processing method, storing method and the wines used in the blend in case the wine is not a varietal. A varietal wine is the wine that is only made from a particular type of grape which entirely dictates the taste of the wine. The above factors influence the taste and the quality of wine.
White wines have different colors due to production process. They may either be produced from red grapes that are light in color which have been peeled off their skin or grapes with green, gold or yellow skins. This explains the different colors of white wines ranging from yellowish, greenish and goldish.
The peeling of the skin of the red grapes ensures that only the grape juice is used. This prevents the red skin from tainting the white wine. All white wines have crisp, fruity, sweet, semi-sweet, dry, fresh or refreshing taste hence they can be enjoyed by themselves on narrow glasses which have a refined taper on top to concentrate the fragrance and the scent. They can also be served with light food. To enjoy white wine more, ice cubes are added to lower the temperature.
The peeling of the skin in white wines means that they cannot be stored for long and also aging does not have the same effect of improving the taste as it does on the red wines. This because the skin has tannins which influences taste with age in fermentation process. Dry and sweet white wines are gotten from altering the fermentation method. For example, the dry wine is achieved by aging the white wine for a bit longer. There are so many varietals of white wine but the following are the most popular and are the most drank in the world.
Chardonnay – they are the most widely known grapes and are grown almost everywhere but they are thought to have originated on Eastern France. It is known for producing sparkling wine and champagne. Their taste comes from oak barrels that they are stored to age but also they are flavored with honey, herbs and butter.
Chenin Blanc – these grapes are grown in Loire Valley of France and they are more acidic in content and are gold in coloring. They exhibit flavors of honey, grasses and quince plus they also have fruity aromas. These grapes are also known to produce champagne and dessert wines. Nowadays these grapes are widely grown in South Africa where it also known as “Stein”
Sauvignon Blanc – These grapes originated from France but currently they are widely grown in other countries due to the huge demand in the market. They are green in color so they produce wines with green coloring. They have a refreshing taste with aggressive grassy and sweet tropical flavors. In France they are blended with semilon grapes to produce a full bodies wines that are syrupy and are regarded as world class.
Riesling – these grapes originated from Germany in an area called Rhine region. They are now in other countries including France where climate is cold. Wine produced from these grapes is normally pure therefore, it doesn’t have to be aged in oak barrels. Riesling wines are sweet with a crispy taste. They have medium to high acidic content with a fruity aroma.
Other varietals of white wines worth mentioning are Pinot Grigio ( Pinot Gris), Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Viongier, Moscato, Semillon, Gewurztraminer and Albarino.
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